Research Topics

Unemployment & Reemployment

From 2009 to 2010, the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Economic Growth contracted with the Heldrich Center to produce a report that compared various approaches, programs, and incentives key competitor states were using to attract and grow green jobs in the energy sector. The report was designed to inform the development of the state’s economic growth strategies in the energy industry. (Funded by a grant from the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Economic Growth)

From 2008 to 2010, the Heldrich Center prepared several papers for the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College exploring older worker unemployment. The first, Older and Out of Work: Trends in Older Worker Displacement (September 2008), explored the impact and scope of unemployment and worker dislocation on older Americans, in particular those who need to work for economic reasons.

In 2005, the Heldrich Center worked closely with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Center for Workforce Preparation (CWP) to look more closely at challenges its members were facing in light of an aging U.S. population and aging workforce. During this engagement, the Heldrich Center provided Chamber members with advance findings of a nationwide survey on retirement options as part of their ‘Voice of Business on the Mature Workforce’ conference. The final report, A Work-Filled Retirement, attracted widespread national and international media attention when it was released in August.

The Heldrich Center is working with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to provide technical assistance and subject matter expertise to three states (Minnesota, New York, and Idaho) who are recipients of demonstration funding to pilot a social media component as part of a larger initiative to provide stronger and more integrated reemployment services to Unemployment Insurance claimants through the workforce system.

This 2009 Work Trends survey found the American worker in a state of deep distress due to the economic downturn. Many of those in the labor force either believe the U.S. economy is in a depression, or think the economic problems indicate the economy is undergoing fundamental and lasting changes. Job losses are widespread. A significant portion of workers say they have been laid off from a full- or part-time job in the past three years, or have seen colleagues get laid off. Meanwhile, many express their lack of confidence in the American banking system.